We all need fat to live, and we all need sugar to live. What we don’t need is too much of either. What happens with fat and sugar excess?
We can’t survive without some fat in our diet. It allows our bodies to absorb some essential vitamins, protects our organs, rolls out the hormones and lets us regulate our temperature.
Saturated or ‘trans’ fats are the bad guys. Both of these encourage your body to produce LDL cholesterol. That’s the stuff that clogs your arteries like wipes clog sewers. Go for plant-based fats wherever possible. Fats that are liquid at room temperature are the ones to eat, and to cook with. So further to that, enjoy olive oil, go light on the coconut oil.
Fats are also calorie dense. Eat too much and those excess calories will be stored as, well, fat. You know what to do!
As glucose, sugar is the basic energy for life. Our digestive systems break foods down into glucose, which is transported in the blood to fuel muscles, brain and all body processes. Like fat, some sugar is essential.
As most of us know – too much sugar means weight gain and damaged teeth. Sugar in whole fruits doesn’t usually cause too many problems, as few of us can eat too much whole fruit. The bad stuff is ‘free sugars’. These come from the extra sweetness added to processed foods, or sugar-by-another-name items such as honey, syrups, fruit juice and smoothies.
Tricky one. You could say that the wrong fats are actively harmful due to their effect on the circulation. However obesity from too much sugar is also a major health risk.
What to do? Eat the right stuff, and not too much of it!
I would have argued that we don't need sugar. But I forgot that we also get sugar from natural sources like potatoes and fruit. Cut those out and you'd have no energy. Just cut out anything unnatural, that's my two pennies worth.
...and not too much of either. Good to see the recognition that we need some of each.
Healthy fats and natural sugars, that's the answer. Simple.